Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
I find that these arguments against the words of Jesus often takes the form of Jesus says X, but what He means is Y, because someone else says Y (or even Z). What you seem to be doing is effectively saying, "Jesus says 'you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect', but what He can't mean this, because my interpretation of the Old Testament i , then I'd think you'd be able to provide an interpretation of the words of Jesus.
Simply because I say to my son, 'You are to tell the truth,' doesn't mean that I don't know that at
some point he won't. I may give the command, but it's tempered with love. When he fails to do
so, he is punished accordingly, he shows contrition, I forgive him and then I reissue the command.
In that context, I expect him to improve, not be flawless. Given Jesus' teachings on the nature
of forgiving your brother and seeking forgiveness with your brother, I see no reason to see Jesus'
proscription to be 'complete/perfect' (teleios
) having the significance of completion as a
criterion for salvation, just as I don't see utter truthfulness as a criterion for my son being a good
You really struggle with the difference between 'what does it say,' and 'what does it mean.'
Language rarely one-to-one in that regard, and translation from that language is never one-to-
one. That's why I try to read it in the Greek along with translation aids in an effort to capture
as much of that first-century, koine Greek, Jewish peasant feel as I can.